The great guitar innovator Django Reinhardt was born on January 23, 1910 in Belgium. His playing made him famous around the world. He died at the age of 43.
Thanks to the music documentary The Wrecking Crew many great Los Angeles studio musicians of the nineteen-sixties get more and more recognition. But one important guitar player has been overlooked: Howard Roberts.
Musicians like drummers Earl Palmer and Hal Blaine, electric bassist Carol Kaye, guitarists Tommy Tedesco and Billy Strange or keyboardist Don Randi slowly get some recognition. More and more music lovers start to understand how much these versatile musicians contributed to popular music.
But “Lost & Sound” reader Scott pointed out, that jazz guitarist Howard Roberts’s work as a studio sideman has been overlooked. He’s right. Like jazz guitarist Barney Kessel, also Howard Roberts (October 2nd, 1929 – June 28th, 1992) contributed his priceless playing to pop hits, movie and tv scores.
Howard Roberts was very busy recording with Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Harry Nilsson, The Beach Boys, Sam Cooke, Peggy Lee and adding his guitar to movie soundtracks like “Bullitt” and “Dirty Harry”. But still he had the time to pursue his own career performing and recording as jazz guitarist. And he was also a dedicated teacher.
A good starting point to read more about Howard Roberts and listen to his music is Mike Evan’s Howard Roberts Site.
Classic Jazz Guitar is a wonderful and carefully made site. It presents seminal Jazz Guitarists. There are many sound clips and recording information. A nice site to browse on a cold winter evening.